males 15.8-16.7 in., females 14.6-16.0 in.
males 6.1 lbs, females 4.8 lbs
more than 60 years in captivity; wild unknown
Filter feeders; small crustaceans (such as amphipods), mollusks, insects (such as midges and brine flies), polychaete worms, fish (rarely), widgeongra
raccoons, margay, gray fox, jaguar, crocodiles, humans, and probably birds of prey
There are populations on the Galapagos Islands and in the southern Caribbean and northern Caribbean from the Guajira Peninsula of Colombia, N coast of Venezuela, Bonaire, and nearby islands to Bahamas, Hispaniola, Cuba, Turks and Caicos, and even a few in Florida. They also exist on the Yucatan Peninsula from Campeche to Cabo Catoche, with rare sightings at Sian Ka’an Biosphere Reserve, and on Cozumel Island.
Salt water lagoons, muddy flats, shallow lakes -coastal or inland although they prefers salt water to fresh water.
These birds are tall, and slender wading birds with webbed feet. Their neck and legs are longer, relative to body size, than any other birds. Overall body plumage color is a deep pink to red/orange with the color darkest on rump, head, and neck. They have black primary and secondary feathers. The Flamingo beak has a black tip, pink to red/orange middle, and pale yellow base near the eye while the upper bill often lighter in color. Their legs are pink with slightly darker knees. Caribeean flamingos in relation to other flamingos have the brightest overall color, darker pink knees, deeper pink beak, and a lower bill that is darker. The bill of a flamingo is thick with a sharply down turned angle and the lower bill is much thicker than the upper bill. The inner surface of the beak has rows of lamellae, covered with tiny hairs through which food is strained out of the water. The tongue helps pump water in and out of the mouth.
Flamingos are highly social, forming large colonies with tens to hundreds of thousands of individuals. Breeding displays are done in groups and contain synchronized displays. They have many vocalizations with a honking geese-like sound made while flying and also while they are on the ground.
Sexual maturity is reached at 3-5 years and first breeding occurs approximately at 3 to 6 years. Flamingos form long term pair bonds that last through several breeding seasons. The clutch size is usually one egg and rarely two. Incubation of the eggs is done by both parents and on average lasts 27-31 days. The nestlings leave nest after 5-8 days and form “crèches,” groups of chicks, that a small number of adults will care for. The young fledge in 9-13 weeks.
Habitat loss due to road construction and development of housing and also lead poisoning due to the ingestion of lead shot.
ANIMAL FUN FACT!
The flamingos bright pink feathers, legs, and beak comes from carotenoids that they eat in their diet!The bill of a Flamingo is similar in function to a baleen whales mouth!
Young are fed "crop milk" which contains a high level of fat and nutrition and is produced by glands near the crop!